Regional Resiliency Assessment Program (RRAP) for the Texas Cattle Feeding Industry
RRAP is a voluntary and nonregulated focus on specific infrastructure sectors within a defined geographic area and addresses a range of hazards capable of regionally or nationally significant consequences. The ultimate goal of an RRAP is to mitigate the nation’s risk of loss of life and physical and economic damage from natural and manmade hazards.
The Texas Panhandle was awarded a RRAP grant for the cattle feeding industry. Initially focused on the corridor from Amarillo to Hereford; the project eventually encompassed the entire Panhandle. This was the first RRAP to focus on agriculture and the food sector. With a completion date of April 2013, the project was allotted $1.4 million. This project will end up benefiting the entire cattle feeding industry as well as hogs and dairy cattle operations. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took a year and a half to do an assessment of the industry and found three main areas needing improvement to include Facility Biosecurity, Business Recovery and Regional Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Response.
Why an RRAP for Cattle Feeding?
Approximately 2,500,000 head of cattle in the Panhandle at any given time.
An FMD outbreak in the cattle industry would devastate the economy of the panhandle.
Feedlots are a soft target-little security on outer perimeter and very susceptible.
The Final Product
Each facility that participated in the project was equipped with a customized biosecurity plan and a business continuity plan. Each facility also had a bio assessment, risk assessment and business impact assessment done. A template of each plan is available through the Livestock Industries Preparedness Exchange, another product of the project, for cattle, swine, dairy, poultry and sheep.
A regional FMD protection plan was created and accepted by the region. The ultimate goal of the plan is to prevent the spread of the disease to healthy areas once a case has been confirmed through movement control, vaccination, depopulation, carcass disposal and disinfection. The plan is scalable, flexible and adaptable for all hazard events. A local FMD plan template was created and available to all jurisdictions as well.